Pierce’s conclusion after trying all the alternatives to a physical keyboard -
“That’s why, whenever possible, I still find myself clacking away at QWERTY, like a century hasn’t passed.”
All those would-be alternatives - we could buy off-the-shelf for years now: projection keyboards, sensor gloves to track finger motion, and vision systems to watch hand gestures. But writers don’t want them.
There’s a reason. Even after decades and billions in R&D, these efforts all lack a fundamental requirement -
Get any letter with a single key-press, that feels great.
Despite repeated attempts, experimenters still don’t understand that there is an essential proprioceptive feedback loop. What we feel physically and cognitively as we strike the characters - this is core to what a keyboard is.
From Wikipedia - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception -
“Without the appropriate integration of proprioceptive input, an artist would not be able to brush paint onto a canvas without looking at the hand as it moved the brush over the canvas; it would be impossible to drive an automobile because a motorist would not be able to steer or use the pedals while looking at the road ahead; a person could not touch type or perform ballet; and people would not even be able to walk without watching where they put their feet.”
This is why humans can flow their writing better with a great physical keyboard, than with anything else.
Virtual alternatives ignore this core point, and fall short from the starting gate. They still don’t comprehend the definition of the problem, which is what TextBlade solves.
It’s easy to ship experiments. But a new paradigm that users consistently prefer - that took a different understanding of the requirement, and a different skill and persistence to create.
The best inventions always originate from a deep insight - one that humbly respects reality, and accurately defines the problem.